Monday, April 26, 2010

Far From Home

I've heard it said that we all die alone. But to bleed out on the street of a foreign city while people walk past seems an especially lonesome way to go.

I think people are just afraid to step in; they don't want to get involved; who knows what their reasons are?
Homeless good Samaritan left to die on NYC street
They don't want to get involved. One wonders why not. In the end, there is a simple and nonspecific answer that might sum it up. The people who walked past Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax's body, or stopped to stare at him or even lifted him up to see the blood on the sidewalk all perceived a cost to being involved with him. And whatever that cost was, they decided it was too dear to pay. This is, I think, more common than we like to believe it is. It's a hard fact that a human life is only worth what someone will pay to preserve it. And in this case, no-one was willing to pony up. And I don't think that it's because we have too little - it's because we have just enough to fear to lose part of it.
[...P]erhaps [passerby] had just learned a lesson that Mr. Tale-Yax so clearly had not: better to keep to oneself than to risk the trouble that comes from extending a helping hand.
Questions Surround a Delay in Help for a Dying Man
There will be recriminations, as New Yorkers look to find out who should be punished for this deed. Some people will be genuinely outraged, others will be looking to separate themselves from both the killer and the pedestrians, fearing they will be tarred with the same brush. But the gruesome novelty of this act will die down, and just as quickly as he entered the news, the homeless Guatemalan will fade from it.

His body is being sent home to Guatemala. I hope he rests better in the soil of his native land, than he did on ours.

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